Donetsk, Feb 25 - DAN. Donetsk People’s Republic representative to the Contact Group talks, DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova said on Thursday that all attempts to revise the Minsk Agreements must be firmly prevented by not only participants in the negotiations but also the whole international community.

Earlier, the Atlantic Council published an article by Ukraine’s Minister for Donbass reintegration Alexey Reznikov who said that the Donbass talks had to run in the “Budapest format” alleging that Moscow had violated the Budapest Memorandum and “attacked Ukraine.”

“Alexey Reznikov’s remarks show that Kiev plans to continue to follow the way of escalation, both on the contact line and in the mass media space,” Nikonorova noted. “We have to remind again that the Package of Measures, approved by the UN Security Counci, became a part of international law, a binding document. The attempts to revise it have to be firmly prevented by not only Minsk talks participants but also the whole international community.”

The DPR foreign minister added that Reznikov’s attempts to link the Budapest Memorandum with the Minsk talks caused bewilderment because “these two formats don’t and cannot have anything in common.” The minister also said that his statement actually indicated Ukraine’s preparations for withdrawing from the Minsk process.

“However, if Kiev doesn’t want new conflict escalation, they should give up armed and information provocations, and begin direct dialogue with the Republic representatives over resolving all political settlement issues,” Nikonorova said. “For example a real step towards peace would be coordination of the “Road Map" for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, which was offered by the Republics.

“A peaceful settlement outside these agreements is simply impossible,” she said.

The Agreements dated September 5 and 19, 2014 and February 12, 2015 forged by the Contact Group in Minsk make groundwork for a peaceful settlement of the Donbass conflict. The Contact Group set forth a peace plan and agreed a ceasefire, then adopted the Memorandum on ceasefire implementation and later on the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements. The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements envisions a Constitutional reform in Ukraine which has to result in deep decentralisation. Special status for Donbass is a key point of the political part of the agreements.

The Budapest Memorandum offers security assurances in connection with Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. It was signed by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Great Britain and the USA on December 5, 1994.*jk